“I learned so much in that four-month period, both professionally and personally. I was able to greatly build upon my business acumen, increase my confidence to sit at the bigger tables and have access to those nuanced cheat codes that are more available to the typical white cis-male entrepreneur. It was a game-changing experience for me.”
– Janice Omadeke, Founder and CEO of The Mentor Method.
The Mentor Method is an enterprise platform using mentorship to bridge the access gap between diverse candidates and companies seeking to improve their diversity. The company’s approach helps companies attract, screen and engage diverse candidates while increasing their internal engagement and retention rates.
At the start of MassChallenge, The Mentor Method had a pipeline of close to 100,000 prospects. Four months later, having completed the accelerator program, The Mentor Method had a pipeline of 500,000.
Once accepted into the 2018 MassChallenge Texas in Austin accelerator, Omadeke made a robust Google document that included a long list of goals to achieve during the program. “In short, I wanted to increase sales pipeline opportunities, add new advisory board members, and ultimately receive non-equity funding through being a finalist in the program.”
Omadeke immediately made use of the access to experts and mentors to help shape her business model and learn insights about her market to refine her pitch for corporate prospects. For example, a big revelation came when a mentor proposed to her a new way to position her business to be part consultant and part licensing, an approach she hadn’t considered before and has now adopted.
She further gained significant value from her introductions and collaborations with MassChallenge partners. “There was one partner in particular that’s so big that it would have been impossible for me to connect with their chief intelligence officer,” said Omadeke. “But she just so happened to be a big advocate for MassChallenge, and we were able to build a great working relationship, which then helped to increase our pipeline.”
After finishing MIT’s Global Entrepreneurship program, Omadeke applied to MassChallenge after witnessing friends and peers completing the accelerator with significant progression. “The Founders came out of the MassChallenge program with a level of growth that I hadn’t seen in other startups, unless you were hyper networked and maybe on your second or third business,” said Omadeke.
Omadeke came to find close camaraderie with the 2018 Texas cohort and maintains strong friendships from the program. In addition to her peers, she was impressed with the support from the MassChallenge staff. “Mike Millard (MassChallenge Texas in Austin’s Program Director) would even have calls with me on a Sunday afternoon as he’s driving back from like Dallas. And Dana Wildeboer (MassChallenge Texas’ Senior Marketing Manager) connected us to a PR Company that ended up leading to other fortuitous relationships that helped us expand our reach in Austin and grow The Mentor Method.”
Omadeke’s advice to incoming startups and applicants: “Go in with an open mind and bring your authentic self. And don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask all the questions. The partners and the mentors really do want to help you.”
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